It was a year of extremes. In Wiltshire and through the west, the year began with a drought. Local reservoirs were parched, a hosepipe ban was enforced as farmers were left to count another lost season. Through the summer, the heavens opened and by Christmas there were floods. God has a wicked sense of humour.
America was hit by Hurricane Sandy. The storm devoured treetops and houses and left residents knee deep. Little matter if you live in the British west country or New Jersey. Or that while the Met Office tell us global warming is over, environmentalists prepare for the day after tomorrow. Regardless, the climate is shifting while trees somehow abide.
As the climate rages, trees stand on the front line. At once the first responders and casualties, trees provide the planet with protection from the elements. While it was lost during Sandy’s newsfeed, trees release oxygen and clean air into the atmosphere and act as windbreaks during storms.
Besides the obvious functions of aesthetics and shade, trees also stabilize soil and reduce erosion, increase soil fertility, enhance the land’s ability to store water, provide wildlife habitat, moderate air and soil temperatures, and help to reduce salinization. Trees are therefore essential in protecting our homes and communities. This may seem counterintuitive in the wake of so many large trees being snapped like twigs during Hurricane Sandy, but bare with me …
Following hurricanes and natural disasters national and social media is punctuated with the carnage of treefall. Little wonder the cries of “Oh My God” rise above a cerebral reiteration of garden design. That a blend of deciduous trees strategically positioned can actually protect your home from natures wrath and save you thousands in the process. Read Todd’s blog for more.
Fortunately, the British Isles cast on the far reaches of northern Europe, rarely experience the weather conditions visited upon the US and South East Asia in recent months. The weather report leaves little doubt, however, there is more to come. Maybe it’s time to get our gardens in order?